Gazprom Neft succeeds in using digital technologies to enhance recovery of “hard-to-recover” reserves

Gazprom Neft succeeds in using digital technologies to enhance recovery of “hard-to-recover” reserves

Gazprom Neft has succeeded in deploying its “Cyber-Fracking 2.0” simulator at company assets. The “Cyber-Fracking 2.0” simulator models the processes involved in creating fissures under hydraulic fracturing (fracking), and determines the best options for undertaking geological operations. When used together with other Gazprom Neft digital tools this technology can deliver a 5% efficiency gain in oil production at low-permeability formations. The economic benefit of deploying this digital tool is estimated at around RUB4.8 billion in additional income, long term.

The Cyber-Fracking 2.0 programme successfully passed benchmark testing against similar simulators from non-Russian companies, with the system’s algorithms showing better outcomes than existing competitors on the market, and, specifically, showing Russian technology to reproduce fissure characteristics 10–20% more accurately in modelling underground fracking operations. A further advantage of the Cyber-Fracking 2.0 programme is its high speed — taking less than three minutes to make calculations on a single well.

The simulator was used for the first time at a group of Gazpromneft-Khantos vertical and horizontal wells to produce engineering solutions with a view to revising traditional approaches to fracking strata. The Cyber-Fracking 2.0 programme allowed specialists to produce an alternative option for operations under extreme conditions. Based on the model developed through the simulator, fracking fluid was injected into strata at a depth of several kilometres. The outcomes resulting from the actual fracking operation, such as pressure-sensor readings, were consistent with forecasts.

Gazprom Neft plans to roll-out this new digital programme at fields belonging to six subsidiaries throughout 2020, with the simulator being sued at 50 wells, under various geological conditions.

The Cyber-Fracking 2.0 simulator was developed by the Gazprom Neft Science and Technology Centre as part of a consortium including the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT), Skoltech, the St Petersburg Polytechnic University, and the Institute of Hydrodynamics. A commercial version of this digital tool — designed to improve fracking quality to increase well inflow — has been released.

The programme covers various types of fracking — i.e., for traditional and hard-to-recover reserves — and takes various types of wells into account. The uniqueness of this development lies in its mathematical algorithms, which make it possible to select the right combination of fracking specifications for strata injection, as well as ensuring optimum efficiency in operating under different conditions.

“Under the new realities of low oil prices, the question of project viability is particularly important. Digital technologies are helping us modernise business processes and optimise decision making, fast. Added to which, every programme that improves an area of our business — even by just a few percent —can, when used in synergy with other digital products, ultimately deliver a significant profit, opening up new opportunities. It is for precisely that reason that we, together with our partners, are developing our own IT products — products that could improve efficiency for the oil and gas industry, as a whole”, — Deputy CEO for Exploration and Production Gazprom Neft Vadim Yakovlev.

“In the oil industry, decisions come with a high cost. Every field needs its own specific, individual approach, and its own development plan, designed to minimise costs and maximise profits. We have developed a unique fracking simulator, to be used in planning high-tech operations, and tested this successfully under real-world conditions. This flexible digital tool can be used in working with various kinds of reserves and wells, and is fast and accurate. We will continue testing this programme throughout Gazprom Neft fields — with diverse geological structures — this year”, —Director for Technological Development Gazprom Neft Alexey Vashkevich.

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